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IN RE MIRTAZAPINE PATENT LITIGATION

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York


April 23, 2002

IN RE MIRTAZAPINE PATENT LITIGATION ORGANON INC., ET AL.
V.
EON LABS MANUFACTURING, INC.,

Before Wm. Terrell Hodges, Chairman, John F. Keenan, Morey L. Sear, Bruce M. Selya, Julia Smith Gibbons, D. Lowell Jensen And J. Frederick Motz, Judges OF The Panel

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wm. Terrell Hodges, Chairman

TRANSFER ORDER

This litigation currently consists of the six actions listed on the attached Schedule A and pending in two federal districts as follows: five actions in the District of New Jersey and one action in the Eastern District of New York.*fn1 Before the Panel is a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 brought by plaintiffs Organon Inc. and Akzo Nobel N.V. for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings of the actions in this litigation in the District of New Jersey. Defendants in three District of New Jersey actions — Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; and Alphapharm Pty. Ltd. — do not oppose centralization in the District of New Jersey; however, these defendants oppose any disruption in the pretrial schedules currently in place in that district.

On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, the Panel finds that the six actions in this litigation involve common questions of fact, and that centralization under Section 1407 in the District of New Jersey will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. All actions concern the validity and alleged infringement of Patent No. 5,977,099. Centralization under Section 1407 is thus necessary in order to eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.

In selecting the District of New Jersey as transferee district, we note that this is the suggested transferee district in which i) a judge familiar with the underlying issues, and with a favorable caseload, has been presiding over the litigation for several months; ii) five of the six constituent actions and two potential tag-along actions are pending; and in) the common party patentholder is located such that relevant documents and witnesses will likely be found there. We also observe that no party, including the defendant in the Eastern District of New York action, opposes 1407 transfer to the District of New Jersey. As to the responding defendants' concerns regarding the existing pretrial schedule in the District of New Jersey actions, we leave the manner and extent of coordination or consolidation of the pretrial proceedings to the discretion of the transferee judge.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, the action listed on the attached Schedule A and pending outside the District of New Jersey be, and the same hereby is, transferred to the District of New Jersey and, with the consent of that court, assigned to the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings with the actions on Schedule A that are pending in that district.


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